❏ Yes, we have heard it a million
times: when is Honda or Yamaha
going to jump into the high-performance UTV market? Well, Yamaha
has just taken their first step in getting
back into the game they basically
spawned over a decade ago.
No, the new Wolverine is not in
direct competition with the Polaris
RZR XP 1000 or Can-Am Maverick,
but it could give the RZR 900 or Arctic
Cat Sport 700 a run for their money.
What the Wolverine is for sure is new
and exciting. Since it does not have a
dump bed, we have to call it a sport
model instead of a sport utility.
Powering the Wolverine is an all-new, dual-overhead-cam, 708cc, liquid-cooled engine. This powerplant
is not found in any other Yamaha
product that we know of. Having a
DOHC cylinder head versus a single
will allow it to rev quicker and high-
You probably won’t find a more stable
UTV than the Wolverine R-Spec. It is
slightly over 60 inches wide and has a
low center of gravity. More good news
is that it will squeeze into the back of a
full-sized pick-up truck.
We love the huge center console and
storage compartments found in the
driver’s compartment. It keeps things
dry and within reach out on the trail.
This is one of the roomiest cabins of
er, producing a lot more power. We
feel this thing is capable of producing
power in the 75-horsepower range.
That is the same horsepower as the
super-fun Polaris RZR 900. And, it
does not run as loud as the Viking
engine does. The engine is governed
to top out around 53 mph, just a tick
faster than the Kawasaki Teryx. We
hope very much that this powerplant
ends up in the Raptor or, better yet, in
a new Wolverine sport 4x4 quad.
After our first initial run in the
Wolverine, it feels like it will keep
up with the Arctic Cat Sport 700, but
probably not with the RZR without
modifications. Again, this engine will
accept modifications much better
than the SOHC Viking powerplant.
In stock trim it’s a great rock crawler.
It has low range and a full front diff-